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First Timer's Guide To Fukuoka, Japan

8 Mar 2019

Hew Lee Yee

Klook Travel Curator
fukuoka alleyway night ©
Trevor Dobson for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/dejivh)
The gateway to Kyushu

Slowly gaining more popular over the years, you can find Fukuoka on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island. Said to be a great introduction to Kyushu, Fukuoka also happens to be the region’s largest city. Welcoming, sunny and charming, keep reading to find out the best things to do and eat when you’re there!

Klook activities in Fukuoka

Fukuoka Kimono Rental

  • Choose from a wide variety of high-quality kimonos and accessories
  • Enjoy a professional kimono rental service with dressing assistance
  • Wear a beautiful kimono as you walk down the streets to gain free access to selected attractions

Inclusive of: Kimono or Yukata rental

Not inclusive of: Hair styling

Itinerary:

  • 10:00am-3:00pm pick up kimono
  • Dressing session (20-30 min)
  • Explore Yanagawa or other areas
  • 5:00pm end of rental, return kimono to the shop
View this activity

Historical Hakata Tour

  • Learn about the life of Xie Guoming, a Chinese merchant who significantly contributed to the development of Hakata
  • Enter Jotenji temple, founded 773 years ago and its accompanying zen garden
  • Visit Tochoji temple, a historic Buddhist temple with an iconic five storey orange pagoda

Inclusive of:

  • Guide and English translator
  • Transportation

Itinerary:

  • 10:00am meet up at Hakata station
  • Hakata sakura tea store (40 min)
  • Tomb of Xie Guoming (10 min)
  • Hakata Sennenmon Gate (10 min)
  • Jotenji temple (30 min)
  • Tochoji temple (40 min)
  • 1:00pm end tour at Tochoji Temple
View this activity

Yanagawa River Cruise and Tea Tasting

  • Enjoy the natural beauty as you cruise along the Yanagawa river
  • Relish a local Yanagawa speciality, 'Yanagawa Unagi Seiro-mushi' (steamed eel), for lunch
  • Experience a special green tea tasting session and visit the archive museum to find out more about Yame tea

Inclusive of:

  • Join-in tour
  • Chinese speaking guide
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Admission fees
  • Transportation

Itinerary:

  • 8:40am depart from Hotel Nikko Fukuoka (meet up time 8:30am)
  • 9:00am depart from Hotel Okura Fukuoka (meet up time 8:50am)
  • 10:30am-11:30am Yanagawa River Cruise (60 min)
  • 11:40am-12:30am Lunch at Unagi Seiro-mushi (50 min)
  • 1:10am-1:30pm Yame Central Tea Garden (20 min)
  • 1:50pm-2:20pm Shopping (30 min)
  • 4:00pm drop off at Tenjin Station
  • 4:30pm drop off at Hakata Station
View this activity

Things to do in Fukuoka

Canal City Hakata

One of Fukuoka’s largest shopping and entertainment hubs, Canal City Hakata offers plenty of things to do! Built to look like canal and boasted as a ‘city within the city’, it’s great for shopping and dining, as well as being entertained. In fact, you can find two hotels in that area.

Spend the day in childlike wonder at the game centre, catch a movie at the theatre, relax in a cafe and more at Canal City Hakata. There’s also a fountain show at the center of the canal, and it’s especially beautiful during the night.

canal city hakata
Fukuoka Castle & Maizuru Park

Once the largest castle in Kyushu, what remains of the Fukuoka Castle is a popular attraction in the heart of the city. While only remaining parts of the walls and a few towers, it’s especially crowded during springtime as it’s a top hanami spot in the city.

Also known as Maizuru Castle, it’s surrounded by a park of the same name. With walking trails and lookout points, Maizuru Park is home to lush foliage and over a thousand sakura trees. Besides that, a short walk away is another popular park, Ohori Park!

fukuoka castle maizuru park ©
jpellgen for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/9sfbbn)
Ohori Park

One of the most beautiful parks in Japan, Ohori Park is registered as an official Place of Scenic Beauty. It’s perfect for a day of picnic, a relaxing stroll, or simply basking in the serene atmosphere. Beautiful at every change of season, it’s a must-visit spot!

Adjacent to the park is the Ohori Koen Japanese Garden, which offers visitors a sight of the traditional beauty of a Japanese garden. From the waters flowing around the lake, tea rooms taking shade in the outdoor gardens, and more, it’s easy to find your zen there!

ohori park ©
pixeleater for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/2ck6v7g)
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

One of the most important Tenmangu Shrines in Japan, Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine located in Hakata is spread across 3,000 acres. Closely associated with a Shinto deity of education, this shrine is popular amongst students, especially before the exam period!

After passing the torii gate at the entrance, you will come across a pond and path leading to a couple of arched bridges. Feel free to explore the expanse of the shrine like the main hall, Dazaifu Tenmangu Museum and more. Lookout for English pamphlets if you want to dive deeper into the history and meaning of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine!

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park

A popular spot in Fukuoka for flower viewing, the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a family-friendly public park where you can stroll around, explore via the cycling trails, or simply sit beneath the trees for a picnic.

On any day, you can find many visitors and locals alike at the park. During springtime, you can also find the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park surrounded by the elusive cherry blossom trees. When in full bloom, you can also witness a beautiful sakura tunnel!

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park ©
Rururu Rutsu for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/yssXLW)
Nakasu

Nestled between Naka River and Hakata River, Nakasu is an island in the heart of Fukuoka. Known as Fukuoka’s popular nightlife scene, this entertainment hub is packed with lively nightclubs, izakayas, karaoke spots and more after sundown. A must-try is to grab a bite to eat at one of the many yatai food stalls along the stretch by the Naka River.

If you’re not a night owl, Nakasu during the day is just as exciting. Home to an old school shopping arcade, it’s a stark contrast from the nighttime activities! Browse through the numerous traditional Japanese goods, clothing, art, sweets and more.

nakasu ©
Trevor Dobson for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/deik6N)

Must-try specialty dishes in Fukuoka

Motsunabe ©

securecat for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/Xf1fwH)

Motsunabe

A local Fukuoka dish, motsunabe is a hot pot dish consisting of beef or pork tripe with cabbage, leek, bean sprouts and other vegetables in a soup flavoured with soy sauce and/or miso. Boiling and cooked at the table, it’s best served with rice!

Tonkotsu Ramen (Hakata ramen) ©

cityfoodsters for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/yCWpdW)

Tonkotsu Ramen (Hakata ramen)

The city of Hakata in Fukuoka is the birthplace of the rich and mouth-watering tonkotsu ramen, also known as Hakata ramen. With its milky-white pork bone broth paired with handmade noodles, a generous helping of pork slices and topped with various condiments, this addictive bowl of ramen is absolutely life-changing!

Mentaiko ©

pepinismo for Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/faZuDo)

Mentaiko

A condiment that you can easily find everywhere in Fukuoka, mentaiko is the spicy version of salted cod roe, tarako. Sometimes accompanied with a bowl of rice, topped as a seasoning in certain dishes or used as filling for rice balls, mentaiko is as versatile as it comes. It’s also a popular souvenir that many visitors like to bring home with them!